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Hans Sinn fonds
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48 cm of textual records and graphic material
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Name of creator
Hans Sinn made a career of active involvement in all phases of national and international peace work. As a member of the editorial group Sanity: Peace Oriented News and Comment, Sinn observed Canadian and world affairs from a non-aligned peace perspective. Sanity, based in Montreal, was North America's leading independent peace newspaper.
Hans Sinn's wife Marion, a teacher who specialized in early childhood development and who worked with children with learning disabilities, was book reviewer for Sanity. In the summers of 1965, 1967 and 1968 Sinn was a staff member and participant at the Training Institute for Nonviolence, at Grindstone Island, Portland, Ont. This institute was sponsored by the Canadian Friends Service Committee, the peace and development wing of Canadian Quakers. The focus of the Grindstone Island Training Institute for Nonviolence was to explore non-violent ways in which a civilian population can defend itself from tyranny, from without or within, to maintain the cherished values and ways of the community. In 1976, when Diana Kingsmill Wright decided to sell the island, the Grindstone Co-operative was formed to take over the ownership and operations of the property. This led to Grindstone's transformation into a non-profit, cooperatively owned and operated peace education centre. Hans and Marion Sinn were members of the co-operative and on the co-operative's Board of Directors. Both were actively involved on the programming committee. On February 5, 1983, Hans and Marion Sinn resigned from the administration of Grindstone, citing other interests and a lack of time to devote to the co-operative's administration. The Grindstone Co-operative ceased operations in 1990. Hans Sinn became involved with Peace Brigades International, an organization founded in the summer of 1981 on Grindstone Island by Hans Sinn, Murray Thomson and ten others. Peace Brigades International is a unique grassroots organization which, when invited, sends volunteer peace teams to areas of conflict or political repression.
Scope and content
The first accrual consists of the administrative files of Hans Sinn and relates to his involvement in three separate projects devoted to nonviolent international peace initiatives. There is an unexplained gap of eight years, 1968 to 1976, in which there are no available records. The fonds is arranged into three series: Series 1: Sanity: Peace Oriented News and Comment; Series 2: Training Institute for Nonviolence, Grindstone Island; Series 3: Grindstone Co-operative. The first series dates from 1965-1967 and includes correspondence, mailing lists and information sheets directly related to the activities of the newspaper, Sanity: Peace Oriented News and Comment. There are several published materials, including copies of Sanity, various international peace related publications and newspaper clippings specifically devoted to the topic of resistance to the United States draft for the Vietnam War. The second series includes reports, notes, training evaluations and correspondence produced in conjunction with the operation of the Training Institute for Nonviolence on Grindstone Island, from 1963-1968; included are photographs, news clippings and circulars. This series also contains the business correspondence of Murray Thomson, a Quaker, who was Peace Education Secretary for Canadian Friends Service Committee. The original filing system of the Training Institute for Nonviolence has been retained in this series. The third series includes the administrative records, financial statements and board meeting reports of the Grindstone Co-operative, dating from 1976 to 1983. As well, there is a proposal for a 1977-78 expansion project, complete with architectural drawings, some correspondence, and a copy of the published work, Making Waves: The Grindstone Story. The second accrual consists of published materials.
Immediate source of acquisition
The first accrual (58-1995) was acquired from Hans Sinn via Graham MacQueen in November 1995. The second accrual (24-2001) was acquired from E. Winifred Tanner in June 2001.
The first accrual is arranged into three series:
Series 1: Sanity: Peace Oriented News and Comment
Series 2: Training Institute for Nonviolence, Grindstone Island
Series 3: Grindstone Co-operative.
The second accrual consists of published materials.
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There are no access restrictions.
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No further accruals are expected.
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